G Flip is all in, all the time – the Melbourne singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist, born Georgia Flipo, does nothing by halves. When she auditioned for a gig as a band’s touring drummer, she was told to learn three of their songs; she practiced until her hands blistered and bled, showed up with over twenty songs memorised, and got the job over two dozen men. She was just 19.
As a kid she worshipped her older cousin’s drum kit from afar, too scared to try to play; when her uncle bought her a bright blue kit for her ninth birthday, she cried tears of joy – and the addiction set in instantly. At school she was known as “that drum girl”; from Year 8 on, she spent every spare moment with her drum teacher, Jenny Rose Morrish who was, like her, young, queer and female.
When Jenny died suddenly in her early 30s, it drove a devastated Georgia to go hard after the dreams they’d talked about in those long hours at school: tour the US, be “that drum girl who sings”, make her own music. After a couple of years on a tour bus with the band, somewhere in the desert near El Paso, Texas, she realised she’d taken other people’s music as far as she could. When the band announced a conveniently timed breakup, she headed back to Melbourne and holed herself up in a her suburban sharehouse for all of 2017.
In the afternoons and evenings, Georgia taught drums and piano to kids in order to support herself. But from 9.30am to 4.30pm every day of 2017, she taught herself. How to produce her own songs; how to tease out the melodies she hummed into her iPhone’s voice memo app; how to find her own voice after years of performing other people’s songs.
She didn’t go to gigs. She didn’t watch TV. She doesn’t have any hobbies. Nothing by halves.
“I wake up every day and I'm just thinking about this” she says. “I went crazy because I stayed in my bedroom. I'd talk to myself all the time and I talked to my drum kit, like, ‘Hey man! Let’s make some music!’ Because I'm in here with no human contact. I just talked to my drum kit. And then I read this quote that said ‘Create the things you wish existed’. And then I remember sitting on my bed being like, ‘What do I wish existed? I wish my drum kit would talk back to me when I talk to it.’”
Georgia teamed up with a friend to create just that: a round LCD screen for the front of her hand-made kick drum, with the emoji-inspired broken-hearted face that she designed to match her “super emotional” intensity. With a drum pad in place so she can play the kick normally, the screen can pulse colours in response to sound, loop video, or just “talk”, using a microphone wired up to the rigged drum. This is Je Ro Mo, G’s “talking drum kit” – named, naturally, for Jenny Rose, her beloved drum teacher, and “powered” by her memory.
An addictive, bittersweet shard of shimmering pop, GF’s debut single ‘About You’ builds from a dreamy murmur into a cathartic tumble of syllables, luminous layered synths, and her clean, spacious drumming. It was the first track G pieced together – inspired by her “hectic, toxic, cinematic” on-off relationship and recorded in a day in her bedroom studio, the wistful verse and chorus flowing almost instinctively into “a shitty mic from Cash Converters”. It’s all her.
So this is G Flip. Honest and unfiltered. With the drive, discipline and determination to be the sort of inspiration she yearned for to a new generation of women. She has 897 voice memos in her phone and counting, full of songs, snippets, melodies and ideas. In 2018, she’s out of her bedroom, and she’s all in.
My name is TOMI and I’ve been making music for 15 years. I grew up listening to rock and disco and going to see Bruce Springsteen perform (13 times so far) with my dad. As a kid, I kept my guitar playing a secret – no girls I knew played guitar. In high school I started playing open mics and going to shows in Northampton and at The Webster in Hartford, where I sought out female folk singers who made me think a girl playing guitar was no big deal. When I finally got to book a show at The Webster myself, the sound guy heard me and asked me if I wanted to open for bigger acts, so I started playing there every month. For the first time, I was performing my own music in front of total strangers. After two years of college, I dropped out and moved to New York. In New York, I got a day job as a receptionist at an investment bank and played shows and rehearsed at night with my band. For two and a half years, I dreamed of quitting to focus on music, which everyone at the office thought was a “cute” distraction, until finally, I got fired. In the last month that I was at the job I wrote “Carry You.” I was starting to realize that I needed to focus on my music and develop my own voice, and the band wasn’t really doing it for me anymore. I needed an outlet that was private and all mine. “Carry You” came out organically; everything kind of aligned. It made sense. It was actually one of the first songs that I had composed where I never wrote down a word. That’s what TOMI is. I don’t have to write it down; it’s amplifying a feeling in the moment. I was also realizing at the time that the relationship I was in was not what I wanted, which was confusing because we were both pretty sure we liked each other. I always call it my first “mature” breakup. This song is about trusting your instincts. The epiphany doesn’t have to come with a negative revelation about yourself. It can just be what you feel and trust to be true.
L.A.-based singer/songwriter Evalyn has an endless fascination with her adopted hometown and all the worlds within it, from the rock-and-roll dreamland of Laurel Canyon to the glitzy sleaze of Hollywood to the jagged beauty of the ocean and mountains. “In a way I feel like this city is my cult or my place of worship,” says Evalyn. “I love how it’s this crazy juxtaposition of paradise and total grittiness. I’m definitely one of those people who’ve come here to be a part of all that magic.”On her new EP Salvation, Evalyn marries that sense of cult-like worship with a wild-eyed rethinking of the seven deadly sins—an undertaking that draws from her childhood days as a Catholic altar girl and choir singer. The follow-up to her 2017 debut Sandcastle, the EP showcases the mesmerizing vocal presence and melodic ingenuity previously glimpsed in her breakthrough feature on Louis The Child’s single “Fire.” And in bringing Salvation to life, Evalyn worked with L.A.-based producer Nicopop in dreaming up a darkly charged but lavishly textured sound beautifully suited to the EP’s mystical explorations. “Salvation came from playing with the idea that the seven deadly sins are actually necessary to our lives,” says Evalyn. “I think lust is important and pride is important, and it’s the shame surrounding them that should be broken down.” Naming her infatuation with The Source Family as a key influence on Salvation, Evalyn notes that the EP also delves into the strange romanticism of the cult experience. “I was thinking a lot about how there’s an aspect of cultiness to religion, and how people in cults are usually pursuing a hope of something better,” she says. “It’s about asking, Why do we worship what we worship, and why do we follow what we follow?”With its electronically sculpted but guitar-heavy take on pop, Salvation infuses its sonic grandeur with an edgy vitality inspired by classic alt-rock bands like Nirvana. On lead single “Angels,” the EP opens with a gloriously epic, reverse-string-driven track that examines the sin of pride as an unapologetic passion for the Los Angeles way of life. From there Evalyn reflects on unrequited love on the fuzz-guitar-fueled but ethereal “Santa Monica” (lust), celebrates the drug-like high of sexual exploits on the psychedelia-tinged “Higher Power” (sloth), and contemplates control and vulnerability
on the chillingly intense “A Pill to Crush” (wrath). With the massive pop anthem “Big Bad City” musing on greed and “Crème de la Crème” offering a delicate yet determined look at gluttony, Salvation closes out with “Blue Honey”—a sprawling and hypnotic meditation on envy, laced with luminous moments of stark confession (sample lyric: “I never want what I need”). Throughout Salvation, Evalyn adorns each track with the nuances of her magnetic voice, tapping into the graceful vocal command she honed in singing in the church choir from ages five to 15. Originally from Chicago, Evalyn got her name from her great-grandmother, whom she perceives as the guardian angel for her musical pursuits. “She was an absolute bad bitch,” says Evalyn. “As a child she homesteaded with her family and dressed as a boy so she could work the land. She was one of the first female lawyers in Chicago, an incredible figure skater and painter and all-around powerful woman.”Evalyn made her debut with a supremely moody mashup cover “The Hills” by The Weeknd and “Nightcall” by Kavinsky. With “Fire” by Louis The Child ft. Evalyn soon following, she next delivered the early-2017 single “Filthy Rich”—a track she considers a major turning point in her artistic journey. “I remember coming up with that song and feeling like it was bolder than anything I’d written before,” she says. “It was honest in a way that was a little unnerving, and there was a darkness and poetry that felt like they were unabashedly coming from me.”In creating Salvation, Evalyn aimed to amplify that sense of self-possession, both in her elaborately rule-defying approach to the production and in the message at the heart of the EP. “One of the central themes is the idea of trying to find something to save you, whether it’s religion or a cult or anything else you might worship,” says Evalyn. “I think as millennials there are so many things we’re afraid of, and we’re always trying to run toward some sort of saving grace. It’s kind of hard to think about sometimes, but the real truth is that—at the end of the day—the only thing that can really save you is yourself.”